If you’re suffering from abnormally heavy vaginal bleeding or longer-than-usual periods, it can definitely feel like you’re dealing with your symptoms all by yourself. But heavy menstrual bleeding and prolonged periods are actually common. Furthermore, they can be treated.
This type of abnormal bleeding is called menorrhagia, and it often affects women who are approaching menopause. In fact, about 10 million women experience menorrhagia every year in the United States, according to the CDC.
At his practice in Newburgh, Indiana, Paul W. Morrison, M.D., offers several options to help women manage menorrhagia, including a state-of-the-art, minimally invasive treatment called endometrial ablation. In this post, learn how endometrial ablation works to stop heavy bleeding and whether it might be a good choice for you.
Quick facts about endometrial ablation
Ablation is a medical term that refers to the removal of tissue, which, in this case, is the tissue that lines your uterus called the endometrium. The endometrium is where a fertilized egg is implanted when you become pregnant. If you’re not pregnant, the endometrium is shed during your period.
The endometrium is highly sensitive to hormonal changes, specifically, fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone. As you approach menopause, changes in these hormones can interfere with your period, causing your period to last longer than usual or resulting in a very heavy flow that can wreak havoc with your life.
Endometrial ablation works by getting rid of the endometrial lining in your uterus. Several techniques are available to eliminate the endometrium. Dr. Morrison will select the optimal technique based on your specific needs. Each technique is minimally invasive, performed on an outpatient basis, and usually involves minimal downtime and a quick recovery.
How to tell if endometrial ablation is right for you
Endometrial ablation can be a great solution for women who have heavy bleeding that interrupts their daily lives or interferes with sleep. It’s also a good choice if the heavy bleeding causes anemia. However, it’s not a good choice for every woman with menorrhagia.
Because endometrial ablation removes the endometrium, it’s not appropriate for any woman who still plans on having children. The endometrium provides the “bed” for the fertilized egg, and without an endometrium, pregnancy can’t occur. If you still plan on having children, Dr. Morrison can discuss other options with you.
Prior medical problems involving the endometrium or uterus may also mean you’re not an ideal candidate. That includes uterine cancer, uterine infections, and endometrial hyperplasia, which is a precancerous condition that causes the endometrium to thicken. Women with an abnormal uterine anatomy may not be good candidates either.
Don’t ignore abnormal bleeding
It’s important to note that while heavy bleeding is a common symptom of perimenopause — which is the period of time leading up to menopause — it can be caused by other issues, too, including cancer. If you have unusual bleeding, you should schedule an office visit right away to determine the cause.
If you have abnormal bleeding or if you want to learn more about endometrial ablation for menorrhagia, call 812-490-5200 or book an appointment online with Paul W. Morrison, M.D., today. His practice is located in Newburgh, Indiana, and it serves the Evansville area.